GAC opens advanced design centre in Los Angeles

17 April 2018 | by Karl Smith

Guangzhou Automotive Group Co. (GAC) is opening an advanced design centre in the Los Angeles suburb of Costa Mesa.

It is the second of three planned outposts in the US, the first being a technology centre recently opened in Silicon Valley, and now a Californian design centre. The final outpost will be a technology R&D centre in Detroit.

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Chairman Wang’s welcome to the assembled guests

The new design centre had a ‘soft opening’ on 14th April, with officers from GAC’s headquarters on hand to tour the centre and give it an official launch. Car Design News had exclusive access to the new studio, plus designers and officers from GAC.

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Floor plan shows the open studio and conference area

The Advanced Design Centre is an R&D outpost for GAC, focusing on issues of future mobility, automotive culture, and integrating the GAC brand into the American market. Unlike many design centres, the GAC facility (which was formerly a bank, and an art gallery) is open to the surrounding commercial area, with lots of glass.

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The studio interior at sunset – transparency and openness to the community... and a very sculptural tree

Making use of its past as an art gallery, GAC plans to have days when the public can peek through the windows and browse displays of artwork and 3D models, “in order to stimulate the awareness of the GAC brand and its design flair”

The studio is 100% digital, with an emphasis on 3D modelling and virtual reality rather than more traditional methods of design exploration.

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Executive design director, Pontus Fontaeus

CDN was able to speak at length with Pontus Fontaeus, Executive Design Director, and Zhang Fan, Vice President Head of Design– look out for an in-depth feature on the website very soon.